Saving money on cooling costs

Although fall is finally upon us, we still haven’t left the sweltering summer Texas heat behind. Unless you’re taking proper action, it’s likely that your electric bill is also feeling the heat. Below are a few tips to keep cool while lowering your electric bill.

Program your thermostat
Make sure to program your thermostat so that it’s not cooling an empty house. If you work during the day, set your AC at a warm temperature until you get home. If you’re gone an hour or longer on the weekends, raise your thermostat a few degrees. You can always cool your home down when you return.

Look for leaks around windows and doors
Air leaks in your home could be drastically increasing your energy bills. The U.S. Department of Energy recommends checking for leaks by using a smoke pen and watching where the smoke travels. If the smoke moves horizontally near windows, doors or other areas around your home, you may have found a leak. Caulking is the most common way to seal these types of leaks.

Check your air filters
Are your air filters dusty or malfunctioning? A dirty air filter can make your AC unit work twice as hard, which means energy is wasted and more money is spent on cooling expenses each month. Make sure to check your filters at least twice a year or even better, once a month, to ensure they are clean and working properly.

Block the sun
If you have windows located in direct sunlight, make sure to cover them with blinds or shades. Experts suggest that shading your home from the sun can reduce cooling costs by as much as 30 percent. Spend a day determining which windows get the most sunlight and adjust your blinds accordingly.

Lower your usage of heat-producing appliances
If possible, try to only use heat-producing appliances, such as your oven, dishwasher and dryer, at night. These appliances can increase your home’s temperature, and put more pressure on your AC. However, if you use these appliances at night when temperatures are cooler, your AC won’t have to work as hard.

Run your ceiling fans
Ceiling fans can eliminate the need for regular air conditioning. On its standard setting, a ceiling fan pushes air downwards, making the room and its occupants feel cooler. Keep in mind that ceiling fans only make you feel cooler – they don’t actually cool the room. Try increasing the temperature of your thermostat while running your ceiling fan to stay cool without paying top dollar.

These are just a few of the ways you can beat the heat without breaking the bank. For more great tips for saving energy and keeping cool, visit EnergySavers.gov.


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